Pep Guardiola labelled himself ‘a genius’ after his double substitute kept Manchester City in the Premier League title race.
He’s not wrong but we’re still trying to decide if he was joking or not…
City ensured they kept on league leaders Arsenal’s tail as a 1-0 victory over Chelsea closed the gap at the top to five points.
Overall it was a poor display from City, but the decision to introduce both Jack Grealish and Riyad Mahrez from the bench in the second-half proved a masterstroke from the Spanish coach.
Less than three minutes after coming on the pitch, Grealish set up Mahrez to score the only goal of the game to keep the Gunners – led by Guardiola’s former assistant Mikel Arteta – firmly in their sights.
Guardiola had earlier sent on Rico Lewis and Manuel Akanji for Kyle Walker and Joao Cancelo in a bid to liven his side up following a lacklustre first-half.
“The first half was sloppy,” said the coach. “We didn’t create much, our pressing was so poor we were not well organised and in the second-half especially with Manuel and Rico we were better.
“I am a genius. Because after Everton I was asked why I didn’t make a substitution until 81 minutes. I thought about that today and made some.
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“We could lose here, but now we have a five-point gap. We have three less points to play for. It means a lot but we have to prove ourselves so because it is normal to be in this position after four Premier Leagues in five years.
“We have the mindset that in November the people believe we are already champions, and this is impossible.
“Other teams that don’t have this pressure because people say in September that City are going to win.
“After four Premier Leagues in five years it is not easy to push them again. That is why I am satisfied after what happened in recent years.
“We’d prefer to be closer but with the way Arsenal play they deserve to better. For us it was so important, especially in the second half, to be aware that we can do it again and again and again.”
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